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Why Do People Buy S/L's?

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:36 am
by craigobau
Summer last year, I rediscovered my love for Stephen King's writing (following a 22 year "break") and I've now set about filling in the gaps in my reading history, and in my reading travels, I've come across the plethora of limited editions issued.

So, I have a general question, a lot of these gift/limited/signed editions seem to come on the market at a "reasonable" price, but they seem to either quickly, or over time, appear on ebay etc. at inflated/crazy prices.

Have people on this forum found that it's mainly fans who are buying these limited editions, or, given the future value of some of these limited editions books, are a lot of people buying purely with the intention of selling to turn a profit?

Also, I've noticed some limited editions have signed remarques which seem to be quite valuable. How do you buy these remarqued editions when they go on sale - are they sold as such (and cost more?)?

By the way, this website is a great resource for obtaining information on historic pricing of limited editions and I've really enjoyed navigating - and envying the owners - the range of limited editions released. Thanks Site Admin!

Getting ready to open my wallet!


Re: Why Do People Buy S/L's?

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:59 am
by jhanic
I think it's safe to say that most collectors who collect signed limiteds do so to be sure the signature is real. There are lots of fakes out there and getting a s/l is the best way to guarantee an authentic autograph.

There is a subset of fans who buy more than one copy so that they can sell the duplicate later to offset the cost of the initial purchase. Then you also have those who buy just to make the profit.

The remarques are a different story. Some publishers (such as Cemetery Dance) offer the option to get a remarque on an upcoming publication for an additional price. (I'm waiting on my Erin Wells remarqued edition of the signed limited edition of Doctor Sleep.) Other times, the collector will make contact with the artist directly and buy a remarque directly (usually shipping the book to the artist). Right now, is having a fund raiser for The Haven Fund and some artists have contributed remarqued books for auction to benefit the Fund.


Re: Why Do People Buy S/L's?

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:15 pm
by TheCollector
Hi Craig,

Welcome to the forums and to the wide wide world of King collecting. John's explained it pretty well, I'll just elaborate on the prices part. There are well over 750 or 1,000 or 1,500 King collectors out there which means whenever there's a limited edition released in the 1,000ish copy range - the book sells out within hours. That means there's more demand then supply.

Basic economics comes into play & suddenly folks that were not able to buy the book before it sold out are forced buy on the secondary market for higher prices.

Remarques are a relatively new phenomenon. Originally these were quite rare and valuable, however now illustrators have started cashing in and as you can see by my "remarques" section they've become their own little market. I'm a bit concerned about saturation, especially with some of the more prolific illustrators like Chadbourne, but there's been enough demand that as long as the remarque is either:
1) Of significantly high quality/detail
2) Rare enough (Meaning there aren't 100 of the same variant floating around)

Then they seem to sell on the secondary market for at least what they cost to have done, and sometimes more.

Re: Why Do People Buy S/L's?

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:00 pm
by craigobau
Thanks both for your replies. Really appreciate your insights.

I think you hit the nail on the and demand (and I'm on the wrong side of the equation!).

The Cemetery Dance limited editions look really nice (in fact, I'm currently awaiting delivery a Doctor Sleep Gift Edition) and, as John mentioned, these seem to be a good way to get of getting a S/L and not having to worry about authenticity.

My wallet is in for some pain.


Re: Why Do People Buy S/L's?

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:37 pm
by jhanic
craigobau wrote:My wallet is in for some pain.

That's a common complaint with King collectors!


Re: Why Do People Buy S/L's?

Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:17 pm
by jimimck
For me, I started off buying Gift editions as I loved the idea of having a high quality, different edition, of my favourite King books. I never looked at it as an investment or considered buying for re-sale.

Then on occasion I picked up the odd S/L, when they were different to their unsigned gift editions. In other words it wasn't about having Kings signature (which is of course cool), but it was more about having a rare, extra special edition of the book.

For me, I'm not generally interested in buying a version of a S/L (or lettered for that matter), if it is the same as the unsigned edition.